Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog


Secondary Consequences of a DUI

Posted on: March 19, 2007 at 12:01 a.m.

A DUI carries with it a list of possible court-imposed consequences. A first time offender can face probation, up to six months jail time, a fine of up to $1000 plus penalties, a lifetime conviction on his/her permanent record, alcohol rehabilitation, an ignition interlock may be required (must blow into a breathalyzer to demonstrate sobriety before the car will start) and/or community service. Those are some but not all of the possible criminal court consequences. On top of that one faces the DMV hearing consequences of license suspension, being required to file an SR-22 form for three years in order to maintain one's driving privileges once they have been reinstated, commercial driver's licenses may be suspended or permanently revoked, and if caught driving on an already suspended license then the car will be impounded and mandatory jail time is at stake in the criminal case if convicted. A DUI can be very costly in terms of the immediate penalties imposed. But what about the secondary consequences of a DUI? That is, what about the consequences which take effect after the court has made its ruling and the DMV hearing has concluded? There are many lasting consequences resulting from a DUI conviction that individuals often do not even think about. These may include but are not limited to: financial consequences, insurance consequences, immigration consequences, employment consequences, unrelated legal consequences, and consequences that are merely an inconvenience.

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Domestic Violence Cases and "Hearsay"

Posted on: March 19, 2007 at midnight

In is a common misconception that the person reporting the domestic violence charges has the right to decide whether or not to press charges. Once the police get involved it is no longer in the complaining party's control. Instead, it is now up to the prosecutor to decide whether or not the case goes to court. Thus, the testimony of your partner or the individual claiming domestic violence can be very important to your case. Where the complaining party does not wish to prosecute, it is important that you retain an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help you because he/she may be able to speak to the prosecutor to prevent the filing of the case in the first place. However, if the case does get filed and goes to trial, it is important that you encourage your partner or the individual claiming domestic violence to testify in court and give a truthful account of what happened. Otherwise, statements that were made to the police or the 911 operator at the time of the incident are admissible in court. This is an exception to the normal "hearsay" rules governing testimony that is admissible in trial. "Hearsay" refers to any statements that are made outside of the court but are brought into the court as evidence of the alleged claim. California Evidence Code Section 1240 allows for statements made outside of court by the complaining party to be admitted in court as evidence so long as he/she was describing the events that he/she was viewing or experiencing at the time the statement was made. This would include 911 calls made at the time of the incident. California also has a "fresh complaint" hearsay exception which allows any statement to be admitted into court as evidence that is regarding a complaint made by your partner or the person claiming domestic violence. This does not include any responses given to questioning, but it would include the initial statement of complaint made to the police. These statements can be used against you as evidence to the offense that was committed and the person responsible for such offense. However, there are ways around these exceptions which is why it is imperative that you obtain professional legal assistance.

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